tv [untitled] May 12, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT
various -- lake merced mou and various activities. this is the map. these are all owned by the public utilities commission. back in 1950, the commission delegated all the recreational responsibility to the recreation and park department for those recreational activities. we have been working recently to try to improve the relationship and come up with real benefits to the lake merced tract. you're this in november where we talked about the mou. since that time, we have received a number of comments. we have made some changes to the mou. we have met extensively with rec and park and talk about the amounts of funding for the needs of the land out there, which is an important issue to them and to us. we have met with folks from the gun club to deal with a looming issue at lake merced.
i will go over those things today. first, the resolution updates the 1950 resolution. does not totally replace it. it defines relative puc and rec and port facilities -- responsibilities. -- rec and park bank responsibilities. we have recognized the ultimate authority with the lake merced tract rests with this mission. it is your responsibility. what the mou does is increase is our involvement on a day-to-day basis in the lake merced basin and is advised that there be an annual meeting with stakeholders and that we work closely -- and specifies that there be an annual meeting with stakeholders. the leases are a key component of this. we talk about rec and park is this large thing. it boils down to three areas. the harding robot house, a golf
course, and the pacific rod and gun site. those are the leases out there for recreational purposes byrd the golf course, everyone is clear that should stay with rec and park. the puc needs to take responsibility for the pacific rod and gun club lease. that leaves the harding boathouse lease. one of the things that we have in here in resolution as an acknowledgment of the lake merced watershed report. a stakeholder-driven process to assess the watershed and make recommendations for improvement. it is not gone through ceqa review. but it serves as a strong basis for going forward with improvements on the property. one of the key things has been an issue out there is the
harding road boathouse. we're investigating improvements in the boat house. rudimentary cleanup and building and bathroom repairs. the rudimentary cleanup is taking place. it exposes good bones of the basic facility there for a lot of different purposes. we have had funding available for that from the you see budget add-back. we're trying to achieve a presentable bulk basic building shell that will give rec and park something to use for the space. the potential would be recreational fishing and/or boating. public use space for lake exhibits or meetings. we will be participating with rec and park. and rec and park staff are here to talk about that. they have a presentation as well. another major issue has been lake merced water levels. we have worked with the environmental stakeholders to
try to come up with a plan to improve water levels in the late. we're doing that with the vista grande project. there during the environmental process. a way to get storm water back to the lake so we can maintain water levels. last but not least, the pacific rod and gun club site. this figure here shows the site which is approximately 14 acres. the red areas are struggles that exist -- structures that exist. the rest of the area, we will be working with the club for cleanup of the property. historically, the use clay pigeon's the represent contaminants at levels that appeared to be a potential threat to public health if left unattended to. one option would be to possibly close this place, but our goal would be to have unrestricted recreational use on his property going forward into the future.
we will be working with the pacific rod and gun club on how to do that. the puc has to resume responsibility of that lease back from rec and park. looking for agreement on the mou. the rec and park operations committee heard the last week britta is going to their commission on may 17 geared we want to increase puc oversight and management of the lake, pursue water level management, and address the john muir site issues. happy to answer questions. rec and park staff are here as well. commissioner moran: thank you. commissioners? we do have public comment. i have three people who submitted cards. mr. murphy is the first. he will be followed by mr. catagan.
two of them are the same. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i represent the golden gate audubon society and its 10,000 members. i recommend that you approve the lake merced watershed report and reject the mou. i made a case previously for revising the mou, but i i am convinced it is necessary for the puc to assume full management control of lake merced. a couple examples why. around the end of january, i got a call from the puc staff member who wanted to get my it is about cutting bulrush at the lake and make access for crew racing and another pier for children's fishing access. two staffers from pc and one from dpw waited for me. we waited for some time for the rpd rep. while we were waiting, we checked the crew racing pier.
we develop parameters for cuttingwe went over to see whate could figure out about the fishing pier. the representative never showed up and never called. to the credit of both puc and dpw staff, it it was cleaned up spotlessly and was the first time i had observed cutting at the lake in four years that has happened. the situation with rpd failing to show up gives me an idea of what they're ideas about program development are. there is a green waste dump used to store ship -- to store chipped trees. there are bound the chip would and no barrier of any kind to
prevent waste going into the lake. rpd has used the area as a dump for 10 years and hasn't done anything to prevent the mess from sliding into the water. do you think that will change if they stay in control? if you walk down the steps next to the boat house down to the fishing pier, you would notice that trash has escaped the dumpster and garbage goes right into the lake. what a responsible agency do something to prevent that? lake merced is an incredible asset, but without meaningful starship, water quality is negatively impacted and recreational opportunities are compromised. rpd has a grand plan for recreation at the lake, but looked to history and think that might be indicator of future performance. i urge you to take the only action you can to improve conditions at lake merced and do not approve the mou and
structure staff to develop a management plan for the lake and develop a master plan for the like. it deserves it. >> thank you. >> i'm with the committee to save lake merced. i'm going to assume you read my letter. i know it's five pages long and my friend called it the opus magnum or something like that. i made all the points about why this mou is bad and now want to make another couple points. i think it's interesting that rec & park will be speaking after all of us began what i expect you will hear is a series of promises. they have already taken this mou to one of their commission
committees and it has been approved before you folks approve it. they submitted a staff memo with 11 things they're going to do out there. but you cannot roll up 0 with a promise. likewise, you can't -- you can't wrote a boat with a promise. this poor little guy can't catch a fish with a series of broken promises. i'm personally tired of hearing promises that we're going to do this at lake merced are we are going to do that. the operations committee approved this mou. i was interested in the presentation. you folks are into the gardening business, and to the arts business, and the school's business, certainly you can't issue and rfp and find a fishing concessionaire. it has been 13 years since there
has been a fishing concessions out there. certainly, you are capable of bringing in a fishing commission. that's the only thing recreation lies that is needed out there. we don't need kayaking lesson for rolling lessons or fishing lessons. we don't need geo-caching. all that stuff is taken care of. i join with my colleagues in saying please, once again, reject the current mou which is identical to the one you rejected on november 8. look at the one i submitted to you on november 18 and let's do something right. i have 32 seconds left. i yield to one of my colleagues. >> good afternoon. and speaking as a founding
member of the lake merced task force. in its many years, it was always a goal that this deteriorated, neglected resource should someday fulfil its promise as one of the city's premier natural and recreational treasures. the task force, together with puc staff has made great strides in restoring water quality and levels. regarding the mou today, i urge you to consider the following -- it is seriously flawed by not giving complete management authority solely to the puc. is the surface manifestation of the west side basin offer, a vitally important asset in your water portfolio. given your agency's mandate for stewardship of the ski resorts, it does make sense to divide responsibility with another agency. sec rec & park and, has not paid back -- second, rec & park has not played a part there for
decades other than a golf courses. it is not clear what role there is for them to play at lake merced. this abdication is not their fault. their budgets are always the first to be cut and a deployed their limited resources elsewhere. you are paying for the remaining few gardeners out there and have for years. in spite of the good faith expressions of wanting to establish more recreational uses at the lake, given current and future budgetary realities, is not realistic they will ever be able to deliver on this. why should rec & park be given management authority now? joint management authority by two agencies has resulted in a confused and inefficient decision making. you must not lose sight of your chief goal. the best management possible of this property. dividing management of lake merced with another agency at a
minimum sharply increases the complexity and delays to make decisions and take action. five years and has taken to produce this mou is a perfect position of this problem. it's long past due to recognize the lake merced watershed report prepared by blue-chip consulting firm and received extensive community and stakeholder in put and cost your agency a small fortune. it would be poor policy not to recognize it after all the work and expense put into it. its conclusions are as valid today as when it was published. furthermore, the solutions for continuing the restoration of lake merced and securing the public enjoyment of it is contained in the report and should form the basis of future action. finally, you should establish a lake merced manager. [tone]
it's not fair to put it on steve ritchie. the last point -- the lake itself when there is not someone in charge of addressing his challenges and coordinating the necessary responses. >> mr. martin? >> i'm going to start off giving some good news. late in 2011, i got phil ginsberg and puc staff consultants and others to look at the report and see what we could bond against in the 2012 bond. we met to talk about road diet projects out at the lake. i've been a member of the
working bond committee and in that bond will be $2 million for lake merced, the first time any money has been in a rec & park bond for lake merced. i don't want to jeopardize those funds. the lake could be eligible for $10 million in small or large community projects. the problem i see right now is the language in the bond says lake merced is under the jurisdiction of rec & park. my recommendation is you either ask them or supervisor elsbernd to add it into it and a new section titled lake merced renovation and development,
approximately $2 million, be added to the bond language. that would put you on equal status of your fellow commission, the port of san francisco, which is getting $35 million out of that bond and they got $30 million in the last. but they manage their own project. onto the mou. it has already been mentioned that you ought to look at the tracking document and you'll see how insignificant the changes are. there are not responsive to the board of supervisors resolution, not responsive to your commission questions or to stakeholder concerns. take it on. it is your property. just moments ago, you had somebody talking about the community benefits activities of the puc. you can do it if you want to have rec & park do something other than natural areas, go to it.
the other issue i support is the lake manager position. they can monitor and mou and monitor the boathouse and work on the gun club site, managing it if it is approved. there are so many activities about there. reject the mou and accept the watershed report. >> mr. allen? >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is dick allen. i am a roller at lake merced and have been for the last 20 years. i would like to focus on a memorandum prepared by staff last month addressed to the rec
and park commission. for 62 years, rec & park has manage recreation at lake merced. then under the rec & park management responsibilities, they plan to program and manage recreational activities with a focus on active at -- active outdoor water board activities. as an active user of the lake, i don't know what they're thinking is. we have no idea what their plans are. they have no presence there and haven't had a presence there. let me do a rewind and go back to 2001 when we were forming the lake merced task force. we had standing committees and one of those was the recreation committee which i ended up sharing in about 2006 ford. rec & park was absent at those
meetings. a lot of important discussions occurred. but their absence was never explained to us. now, all the sudden, your the landlord and bringing a tenant in to undertake recreation activities at the lake. do we know what those activities are? i have been a 10 and over 40 years. the 10 and lays out a plan before the one board will accept them. all we have here is promises and ideas, but they have not been translated into a plan. but 10 and needs to have a plan but they don't have a plan. going back to the recreation committee meetings we have had, we discussed the boathouse and times but nothing visible happened. it was in their lap but nothing
happened and it continued to deteriorate. one major issue came up when sailing was to be introduced on the south lake and the proposal was to introduce sailing monday through friday from 3:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. this is exactly the same time that there rowers were active on the lake. to make a long story short, i convened an emergency meeting, brought in the sailing people and they're rolling coaches and we talked about it. rec & park was not at the meeting and we came up with the resolution and solve the problem internally. i submit to you, please do not accept this mou. >> other public comment? mr. brooks? >> it good afternoon. i represent san francisco green party and the local grassroots
organization, our city. i am not here to concur with the other speakers, especially audubon, that this mou should be rejected and it should remain in complete oversight of this watershed area. that's the key here for an entire century. the job has been to manage watersheds and water supply and storm water issues. throughout this century, the puc has had to interact with groups always down to this year is to take a strong and decisive leadership role and management role on managing natural areas, watershed areas, species' habitat and wetlands habitat.
puc knows how to manage a watershed and rec & park does not have that at all. its role is recreation for the citizens of san francisco. that has resulted when it comes to species' habitat and wildlife issues and management issues with problems such as sharp park where the city is being sued by many environmental groups over the endangered species act and many environmental groups have repeatedly gone to hearings insisting that area managed properly as a wetlands habitat. the staff, because it doesn't have the institutional history of taking care of watershed ecosystems continues to insist on leaving an 18 hole golf
course and set of doing what is right for the watershed habitat. likewise with the beach shali soccer fields where rec & park, contrary to what is good for the environment, wants to install plastic turf and massive nighttime flights for soccer play in an area with sensitive and extensive wildlife in it. this is not the perspective of an agency that should be managing a watershed ecosystem. i would repeat because the puc has a strong history of doing that properly that the lake merced watershed area should be treated exactly the same as hetch hetchy and should be managed the same way as if it's part of a national park system or state park system. we need this to look like a natural wildlife habitat that the citizens of san francisco create by coming to you in its natural beauty, not by rec &
park managing it with an eye toward revenue opportunities and toward simple recreation and not enough consciousness of the wildlife habitat. thank you. >> any additional public comment? commissioners, what is your pleasure question are >> we do have recreation and park here if we would like to hear from them. >> it good afternoon. i'm the director of administration and finance for the rec & park department. thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak about the mou and our plans for recreation programming at the lake. it's nice to be able to follow that outpouring of love and recreation for the recreation and parks department. it has been a pleasure and a
productive process working with your staff to develop this mou. i think the agreement does represent a significant step forward in the overall management of lake merced. the agreement clearly delineate responsibilities for each agency and i think this outlining of responsibilities will allow each of us to focus on our respective core competencies which is watershed management and water quality management and for the recreation and park department, its recreation programming and maintenance of the lake and natural areas around the lake. i'm going to introduce james wheeler, one of our recreation managers. he's responsible for the recreation division that offers water-based activities and he's
going to give an outline of what it is we are planning to do out at the lake that's going to enhance the recreational opportunities out there. >> a good afternoon. i'm the leisure services and aquatics waterfront manager for the city. i want to introduce my staff. there have been questions about our resources and ability to provide programs, want to introduce a few people who work with me. our waterfront and aquatics parts coordinator, our programs coordinator, he introduced jr. mariner camps and aqua camps which have reached capacity for the summer in different venues. our and turn from san francisco
state has spent the last semester helping us formulate a plan for how to provide programming at lake merced. we have used the watershed report and site visits as our road map and we look for to the opportunity to improve existing awake user experiences, establish new program opportunities and increased environmental awareness about the lake. existing programs provide great opportunities for community members. we are well aware that there are world class drilling programs. you just have to go down and watch the team's and understand the content and vibrant programming and success they have had. there are community rowing clubs and the largest dragging but -- largest dragon boating club and the state. these are all examples of current uses of the lake and we believe this is a place for
these programs should grow and thrive. i've been in a few different agencies in the last 20 years and i'm probably one of the only new things that rec & park in the last two or three years. so for me, to listen to the liturgy and what has happened at the lake, i can only apologize for the management or lack thereof, but we feel very strongly that the lake provides a lot of opportunities and we would like to help the existing programs thrive and develop environment conducive to the success and making champions in their programs. we have been exploring programming for youth, adults and families on the lake and are a oration has been careful and deliberate. -- our exploration has been careful or deliberate. we are trying to feel who is on the lake, how it fits together and a lot of groups have given us cooperation and